Catholic World News Headlines

News stories are released on weekdays.

Vatican’s Secretary of State to meet with Putin

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in August. The visit to Russia will be the first by a Vatican Secretary...

Heavy fines for contempt in release of undercover Planned Parenthood videos

A California judge has ordered pro-life activists to pay over $135,000 in fines, citing them for contempt of court for releasing undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s involvement in...

Pope makes €25,000 contribution to fight famine in eastern Africa

Pope Francis has donated €25,000 to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), to support efforts against famine in eastern Africa. The Pope’s contribution fulfills a...

Cameroon bishops demand further inquiry into bishop’s death

The Catholic bishops of Cameroon have filed a formal complaint of murder in the death of Bishop jean-Marie Benoit Bala, saying that they are unsatisfied with the government’s inquiry to...

Mosul is ‘completely destroyed,’ prelate reports

“Today, Mosul is completely distroyed,” reports the city’s Syric-Catholic Bishop Petros Mouche. “Everything needs to be rebuilt.” Visiting the Iraqi city, which was...

Filipino bishop suggests new focus for war against drug trade

A Filipino bishop has encouraged President Rodrigo Duterte to “reconfigure” his was against drug trafficking, concentrating on eliminating the demand for illegal drugs rather than wiping...

USCCB: bishop criticizes House Republicans’ budget proposal

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development criticized the House Republicans’ budget proposal, which was approved in a July 19 committee...

Pope is ‘the voice of suffering Ukraine,’ leading Eastern prelate says

In a recent homily at his cathedral in Kiev, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church paid tribute to Pope Francis for his concern for strife-torn Ukraine. “We feel that the Pope...

New officials named to Roman Rota

Pope Francis has named two new officials for the Roman Rota. Father Pierangelo Pietracatella, a priest of the Toronta diocese in Italy, will be the chief of office for the Roman Rota; Father...

Texas bishop issues pastoral letter on migration

Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso has issued a pastoral letter on migration. “Building walls, deploying a mass deportation force and militarizing our border are not long-term solutions to the...

Day of prayer, fasting for Venezuela’s Catholics

Venezuela’s bishops have declared July 21 to be a day of prayer and fasting. The prelates called on the faithful to ask God to bless the efforts of the Venezuelan people for freedom,...

Sharp decline in Bosnia’s Catholic population

The Catholic population of Bosnia and Herzegovina has fallen to 400,000—down from over 740,000 before the Bosnian War (1992-95). “This decline is mainly due to young people emigrating...

Russian Orthodox mission rededicated in Jerusalem

The St. Sergius Mission, a Russian Orthodox church complex in Jerusalem, was rededicated on July 18 in the presence of Russian and Israeli officials. The complex passed from Israeli to Russian...

South African bishops oppose bid for registration of religious ministers

The Catholic bishops of South Africa have announced their opposition to a proposal for the registration of religious ministers with the government. Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town, the...

Central African Republic: Muslims take refuge in Catholic cathedral

More than 2,000 Muslims have sought refuge in the Catholic cathedral in Bangassou, in the Central African Republic, to escape sectarian violence. The Muslim refugees have fled from attacks by the...

Charlie Gard offered permanent-resident status in US

The US House of Representatives has approved a measure that would grant permanent-resident status to Charlie Gard, enabling the 11-month-old child to travel to an American hospital for medical...

Facebook restores Catholic pages, says blocking was accidental

Facebook has restored full access to more than 20 Catholic pages that had been blocked on July 18, saying that the blockage was due to an error. “This incident was triggered accidentally by...

Jerusalem’s Christian leaders insist on free access to sacred sites for all

All of the major Christian leaders in Jerusalem have issued a joint statement of “serious concern” about the rise in tensions at the Temple Mount, where two police officers were killed...

Nigerian bishop: government corruption has aided Boko Haram

Speaking in Hungary, a Nigerian bishop said that government corruption has helped foster the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency. Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme ministers in Maiduguri, a center of Boko...

Vatican’s Secretary of State condemns attack on crowd outside Venezuelan church

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, condemned an attack by supporters of President Nicolas Maduro on a crowd outside a church near Caracas. After Cardinal Jorge Urosa...

Caritas rues ‘lack of political will’ to address hunger, ecological problems

The Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies recently called upon participants in a UN meeting to make greater efforts to address hunger and ecological concerns. Citing two...

80th anniversary of French ecumenical initiative

The Vatican newspaper has published a front-page article recalling that July 2017 marks the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Dombes Group, an ecumenical initiative in Lyon, France. Father...

Russian high court affirms ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses

Russia’s Supreme Court has upheld an earlier court decision banning the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The court accepted the Putin administration’s argument that the group’s...

Pontifical abuse commission member praises Regensburg bishop for confronting abuse

The publication of a report on widespread abuse at the famous choir school associated with the Diocese of Regensberg, Germany, manifests a “courageous” attitude on the part of the local...

Archbishop Paglia explains new direction for Pontifical Academy for Life

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia explained the new strategic vision of the Pontifical Academy for Life in an interview with Austen Ivereigh for Crux. The Italian prelate brushed aside criticism that...

Archbishop Gänswein: statement by Benedict XVI not aimed at Pope Francis

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the longtime personal secretary to Benedict XVI, denounced suggestions that the retired Pontiff had intended to criticize Pope Francis with a statement issued for the...

Facebook blocked, then restored, many Catholic pages

Facebook blocked access to more than 20 Catholic pages on July 18, without any explanation. By July 19, the Catholic pages were all apparently restored, but Facebook had still not offered any...

Catholic layman arrested for Goa desecrations

A 54-year-old Catholic layman has been arrested for the desecration of a Catholic cemetery and the destruction of at least 11 crosses in the past month. Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrão said...

Maronites to commemorate Eastern martyrs

The Maronite Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, will commemorate a Day of the Martyrs of the Eastern Churches on July 31. The Encyclopedia of Martyrs...

Austria: majority of altar servers are girls

Nearly a quarter century after the practice of female altar servers became licit, 55% of Austria’s 45,000 altar servers are girls, according to statistics published by the Archdiocese of...

Immigration: USCCB renews support for DACA

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration called on the Trump administration not to end a 2012 program that grants work authorization and a reprieve from deportation to over...

South African officials turning blind eye to human trafficking, bishops’ spokesman says

The priest who serves as the South African bishops’ liaison to parliament said that the nation’s culture of corruption allows human trafficking to go unpunished. Commenting on a US...

New Philippine bishops’ president viewed as more open to dialogue with government

The Philippine bishops have elected Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao to a two-year term as president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. Archbishop Valles, who assumes the...

Lebanese Patriarch: refugees from Syria impose strain on country

Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai has warned that the presence of 2 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon is straining the fabric of that country. “Even with all our solidarity with the...

Archbishop tells UN about religion’s role in economic development

In the quest to end poverty, religious leaders make their best contribution by raising awareness of the ethical principles that lie behind humanitarian efforts, the Vatican’s representative...

Two priests kidnapped in Democratic Republic of Congo

Two Catholic priests were kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of Congo on July 17. A group of masked and armed men reportedly attacked the parish of Notre Dame in Bunyuka, in the northeast of...

Widespread abuse charged in German choir school

More than 500 choir boys suffered abuse at the famous choir school associated with the Diocese of Regensberg, Germany, over a period of 45 years, according to an investigator’s report. The...

Australian archbishop unsurprised by decline in religious affiliation

Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane has said that there is “nothing very surprising” about Australian census figures that show a sharp rise in the number of young people with no...

Vatican tribunal rejects move to dismiss embezzlement charges against hospital executives

The trial of two former executives of a Vatican-owned hospital on embezzlement charges began today, with a Vatican tribunal rejecting a motion by the two defendants to dismiss the case. Giuseppe...

Italian priest named no. 2 official at Vatican doctrinal congregation

Pope Francis named Msgr. Giacomo Morandi as the Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on July 18 and raised him to the dignity of archbishop. Msgr. Morandi, the...

Prelate urges Trump administration to raise refugee cap

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration called upon the Trump administration to raise its cap on admission of refugees to the United States. A presidential executive order in...

Venezuela’s bishops back opposition plebiscite; shots fired on crowd outside church

Amid rising malnutrition and fears of a future Marxist dictatorship, over seven million Venezuelans took part in an unofficial plebiscite on July 16 on President Nicolas Maduro’s proposal to...

Ireland: national collection to address ‘greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II’

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has announced a special collection at all Masses on July 22 and 23 to address the hunger crisis that affects 25 million people in Kenya, South Sudan,...

Archbishop discusses how ‘offer of life’ came to be a recognized path to sainthood

The Secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has written an article tracing the background of the Pope’s recent apostolic letter recognizing the “offer of life” as an...

New governor general named for Order of the Holy Sepulchre

Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, recently named Leonardo Visconti di Modrone as the Order’s governor...

Oakland diocese sues cathedral builders, architects for design flaws

The Diocese of Oakland, California, has brought suit against architects and contractors involved in the building of the city’s new cathedral, pointing to “design and/or construction...

Boko Haram destroys Nigerian mosque

A suicide bombing organized by Boko Haram killed at least 8 people in a mosque in Maiduguri, in northern Nigeria on July 17. A spokesman for the Maiduguri diocese remarked that the attack on a...

Same-sex marriage not a major concern for Church, says German Cardinal Marx

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich argues that Germany’s acceptance of same-sex marriage is not a defeat for Catholicism. The German cardinal said that the Church should be more concerned about...

Bishops of central Africa region plead for peace

Concluding a plenary meeting last week, the Catholic bishops of Central Africa issued an appeal for an end to the violence in their region. The bishops—from a region that includes Cameroon, the...

Benedict XVI: deceased cardinal had faith in Church, even in time of crisis

In a tribute to the late Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI praised the German prelate for his “conviction that the Lord does not leave his Church, even if at times the ship...

Cardinal Meisner had ‘profound faith and sincere love for the Church,’ Pope says in telegram

The Vatican newspaper has published Pope Francis’s telegram of condolence following the death of Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne, who passed away on July 5. Cardinal Meisner was one of...

Pontiff decries ecological indifference

In a Spanish-language message to an ecological conference that took place in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis emphasized the right to clean drinking water and called upon governments to enact policies...

Vatican UN envoy: recognizing religion’s public dimension can combat extremism

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has released a 30-page “Plan of Action for Religious Leaders and Actors to Prevent Incitement to Violence that Could Lead to Atrocity...

Vatican cardinal laments international silence on Ukraine

At the invitation of Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches has visited the nation to show...

Pontiff greets Carmelites, prays for Venezuela

Following the recitation of the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square on July 16, Pope Francis offered greetings to Carmelites and prayers for Venezuela, whose bishops warned recently of increased...

Reach out to lapsed Christians, Pope says in video

The La Machi Agency, in collaboration with the Vatican Television Center, has produced a video associated with the Pope’s July 2017 prayer intention for lapsed Christians. “Let us...

Pope Francis reflects on parable of the sower

Pope Francis reflected on the parable of the sower (Mt. 13:1-23), the day’s Gospel reading at Mass, during his July 16 Sunday Angelus address (Italian text, video). The Pope told pilgrims...

Egyptian Christians scale back plans for public celebrations amid security fears

Coptic Christians in Egypt have scaled back plans for public events because of security fears, after being warned that authorities fear new attacks by Islamic extremist groups. The Christian...

Florida court allows priest to sue diocese for defamation in abuse-report case

A Florida judge has ruled that a priest can proceed with his defamation lawsuit against the Diocese of Palm Beach, despite the argument by diocesan attorneys that religious issues should not be...

American doctor will examine Charlie Gard

A High Court judge in England has ruled that an American specialist should be allowed to Charlie Gard, to give an opinion on whether the child could benefit from experimental treatment. Dr....

Cardinal Schönborn: Amoris Laetitia is easy to understand

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna disputed the charge that his defense of Amoris Laetitia is not persuasive, during an address to an English audience. Cardinal Schönborn said that he was...

Papal trip to India planned for late 2017 or early 2018

A papal visit to India is being planned for the near future, a spokesman for the country’s bishops has disclosed. “We are still hopeful that the visit (by Pope Francis to India) will take place at...

‘Complaining Forbidden,’ reads poster on Pope’s door

Pope Francis has posted a sign on the door to his apartment in the St. Martha residence: “Complaining is forbidden.” The sign, styled as a warning poster, says that people who complain suffer from...

Joint Orthodox-Catholic commission concludes study of Blessed Stepinac

A joint Orthodox-Catholic commission studying the life of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac (1898-1960) held its sixth and final meeting at Domus Sanctae Marthae on July 12 and 13. The joint commission...

‘An ecumenism of hate’

In an article entitled “An ecumenism of hate,” the July 14 edition of the Vatican newspaper offered a four-paragraph summary of a Civilta Cattolica essay decrying a...

Patriarch to displaced Iraqi Christians: return home before others take your land

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church called upon Christians who fled the advance of ISIS to return home before others confiscate their land. “Stop the internecine fights that cause...

British prelate laments changes to government program for church preservation

The chairman of the Patrimony Committee of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales lamented the loss of a dedicated stream of funds for church preservation from lottery...

Vatican’s UN envoy calls for greater respect for dignity of elderly

At a recent UN meeting on aging, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations called for greater respect for the elderly. “As the world’s aged and aging population...

Brazil’s bishops condemn changes to labor law

The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil strongly criticized an overhaul of labor regulations approved by the legislature and signed into law by President Michel Temer. Stating that the law...

Vatican newspaper chides Macron, Merkel for failing to assist migrants

An unsigned front-page article in the July 14 edition of L’Osservatore Romano criticized French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for not doing more to help Italy...

Papal advisers lash out at American conservatives, Catholic-Evangelical alliance

Two close advisers to Pope Francis have published an article in Civilta Cattolica in which they decry a “Manichean” strain in American conservativism and a political alliance between Catholics and Evangelical Protestants. The essay in Civilta Cattolica argues that American conservative leaders, including Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Donald Trump, have been heavily...

Coptic Orthodox leader pledges church work for disabled

Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II has promised that 5% of all church employment will be reserved for people with disabilities. The new policy applies to Coptic schools, health-care facilities, and...

Contempt citation for lawyers in release of undercover Planned Parenthood videos

Two attorneys who represent David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress have been found in contempt of court for their role in the release of undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood...

Papal backing for ‘Laudato Si’ Pledge Campaign’

Pope Francis has endorsed an effort by the Global Catholic Climate Movement to persuade 1 million Catholics to show their support for Laudato Si‘ by pledging to live more simply and to pray...

Yemeni official confirms: kidnapped priest is still alive

Father Tom Uzhunnalil, the Indian priest who was kidnapped in Yemen in March 2016, is still alive, the foreign minister of Yemen has stated. Abdulmalik Abduljalil al Mekhlafi, the Yemeni foreign...

Embezzlement charges against two former officials of Vatican-run hospital

The Vatican has indicted two former officials of the Bambino Gesu Hospital on embezzlement charges. The indictment is the first brought by Vatican prosecutors under new rules designed to promote transparency and accountability in Vatican financial transactions. The Vatican has been under pressure from European banking authorities to prosecute violations of these rules. Giuseppe Profiti and...

California bill would forbid employee codes of conduct on abortion

The California Catholic Conference has announced its strong opposition to AB 569, a bill that forbids employers from firing or taking other adverse action against employees who have...

Venezuela’s bishops issue ‘urgent message’ on rising oppression

Stating that the majority of Venezuelans support their views, the bishops of Venezuela issued an “urgent message” on July 12 condemning oppression committed by President Nicolás...

Conflict with ISIS ally is not a religious conflict, Philippine bishops insist

The Philippine bishops said that the conflict with Maute, an ISIS-affiliated group, is not a conflict with Islam. In May, Maute attacked the city of Marawi, setting fire to Christian buildings...

EU bishops’ commission hosts roundtable on resilience

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has hosted a roundtable discussion on the EU’s strategic priority of promoting...

Pope to beatify Colombian martyrs

Pope Francis will beatify two martyrs during his upcoming apostolic journey to Colombia, according to the Holy See Press Office. Bishop Jesús Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve (1916-89) was...

Ecumenical body warns against militarization of EU

The Conference of European Churches, an ecumenical body composed of 115 Orthodox, Old Catholic, and Protestant churches and ecclesial communities, warned against the militarization of the European...

House passes legislation against human trafficking

The House of Representatives passed the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017 (H.R.2200) in a bipartisan voice vote on July 12. The chairman...

Kurdish leader, pressing for independence, promises to respect Christians’ rights

The president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, Masud Barzani, has promised that if Kurdistan wins independence, its government will respect the rights of Christians living in the Nineveh...

Tax-funded abortion comes to Oregon

A new state law in Oregon subsidizes abortions with taxpayer funding. The bill—which has passed the state legislature, and awaits only the governor’s signature—requires...

Pope urges religious instructors to adapt, be creative

Pope Francis encouraged catechists to find new ways to transmit the faith, in a message to the International Catechetical Symposium, taking place in Buenos Aires. The Pope said that religious...

Barcelona drops plan for entrance to Sagrada Familia

City officials in Barcelona have set aside plans for a final element of the Sagrada Familia basilica. Architect Antonio Gaudi, who designed the famous cathedral, had envisioned a grand staircase...

New study of Shroud: blood stains point to agony of Crucifixion

A new scientific study of the Shroud of Turin has found that the linen cloth contains human blood, showing indications of torture. The analysis of the blood on the Shroud, conducted by a team...

French prosecutor: no case against Cardinal Barbarin

A French prosecutor has cleared Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon of charges that he covered up evidence of sexual abuse. The prosecutor recommended against any further action on the complaint...

Action urged on legislation against human trafficking

Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration, has urged Congress to pass the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection...

EU court upholds Belgium’s ban on full-face veil

The European Court of Human Rights has upheld a 2011 Belgium law banning the niqab, or full-face veil. “The controversial ban aims at providing the conditions of living together as a...

Leading Russian Orthodox official clarifies remarks in praise of monarchy

Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, denied calling for the restoration of the Russian monarchy and said that the Russian...

French bishops’ conference lends support to evangelical youth gathering

The Conference of Bishops of France has lent its support to a six-day evangelical youth gathering that is taking place in Le Havre to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The...

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